Former SCSO recruit arrested for fatal hit-and-run - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former SCSO recruit charged with murder in fatal hit-and-run

A SCSO spokesperson says Queen is no longer a recruit. (Photo Source: SCSO) A SCSO spokesperson says Queen is no longer a recruit. (Photo Source: SCSO)
A mother and fiancé have been sending a plea for Cavazos' death for more than a year. (Photo Source: Family) A mother and fiancé have been sending a plea for Cavazos' death for more than a year. (Photo Source: Family)

(WMC) - Memphis police arrested a deputy recruit at the Shelby County sheriff's training academy Thursday after an investigation revealed he could be the driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run.

Memphis Police Department officials say Hunter Queen drove a 2005 Dodge 2500 pickup involved in a crash at Interstate 40 east of Warford Street last summer. Jessika Cavazos, 34, and her friend Derrick Cross, 37, died instantly from the hit August 18, 2013.

A mother and fiancé have been sending a plea for justice in Cavazos' death for more than a year.

"I just don't understand how could somebody run over someone, leave them laying on the side of the highway without trying to contact police, ambulance, anything. That is so unhumanlike," Barry Dandridge told WMC Action News 5 in May. "She's truly, truly, truly missed."

Dandridge and Cavazos were set to marry on Valentine's Day this year.

A tip generated by previous WMC Action News 5 stories is what mother Pattie Leyva-Martinez credits with identifying a suspect in the death of her daughter.

"I thank the person that did the right thing," she said. "Maybe she or he was a parent and absolutely knows what I've gone through this last year ... He [Queen] told a Memphis police lieutenant that he thought he had hit a deer. How do you compare a human being to a deer? That's bull."

Martinez moved to California to be closer to family and wears a locket filled with her daughter's ashes every single day.

"Nothing will bring her back, but the day I'm able to face her killer in court is what I'm looking forward to," she said.

Investigators charged Queen, 24, with two counts of murder, reckless homicide, and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and injury.

Before Thursday's charges, only one violation sat on his record: running a red light in 2013.

A SCSO spokesperson says Queen is no longer a recruit, and the FBI Tarnished Blue Task Force continues to work this case.

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